My mother has always given me the same piece of advice. No matter if I was trying to decide which college to attend, what relationships to end or pursue or if starting a new career would be in my best interest. She has always advised “To thine own self, be true”. I should think of myself no matter what!
I remember feeling like this was so selfish. At this point in my life it is obvious that I misunderstood what my mother was saying. She was not saying that I should choose me over everyone else. She was saying that in all of my helping, supporting and aiding I should also remember Danita.
-Insert a resounding “Thank you Ma!” here-
Mommy’s can be so good at being Mommy, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, ect that we fade into the background of our own lives and it is not until those 3 minutes of consciousness that exist between laying our heads on the pillow and passing out that we remember that we are in disrepair. The symptoms of the disease show up in all kind of ways.
-Personal grooming falling behind
– mental agility lacking
-creativity utterly absent.
We are passing from one activity to the next and from one day to the next month in a blur.
I was this lady for several years! I was living somewhere between Maintenance Mode and Crisis Mode. I honestly thought that if the kids were ok then everything else was ok.
At some point though, it occurred to me that I was a personal warzone. Here is what I learned from reflecting on that time.
I am really important to myself and I need me to flourish and grow!(disregard grammar issues:) )
I started an activity that I call “Packing My Purse”. I will get back to this in just one second. First, some background information.
Every person has three vital personal relationships. I will focus on just one today: Your relationship with yourself. There are a lot of ways to describe this relationship. I prefer to describe it as a “total person” relationship. Our “total person” is where our memories, present reality, and future consciousness is. In other words, it’s our soul. It’s the woman within us who has experienced every part of our lives. She houses all of our memories, our present reality and our hopes about tomorrow. Our soul is a very tender, special place and it requires the most care. It is deeply affected by our fondest memories, best sentiments, wounds from words, devastations from disappointments and every other impact of life. Our souls house all of our collective experiences both real and imagined. It’s a wonderful and equally complex part of our womanhood and in turn our motherhood. Life can be an assault of varying impact on our souls. That is why God is always gently telling us that He wants to care for our souls. He knows that our overall health is directly tied to the health of our souls.
That’s why I pack my purse. It helps to care for my soul.
How to pack a purse:
By now you have probably figured out that my purse is imaginary and I pack it with imaginary things! But aren’t some of things we really need during the day imaginary? Patience, Hope, the warm fuzzies that kid-kissed give you. Imaginary! but really helpful in this very real world.
I start by making a list of things I want in my purse. I keep the list in an iPhone sticky notes application and after finishing my list I imagine the items securely placed in a fabulous bag! You can simply make a list and leave it at that or pack your pockets. Whatever makes you happy!
Other things I pack are real but I may not need them in real life (read as: my thighs and upper arms don’t need the pastry but I would like it anyway) So, I pack the imaginary version of the pastry.
You may need to pack a piece of tape for your mouth when a certain co-worker comes around 😉 or some extra smiles and “Mm hmm!”’s to give your kids at the end of the work day and they just want to talk talk talk all the way home from the sitter.(or is that just me?) It’s all up to you! Just take a moment to listen and pack whatever you need to take care of your inner self. You’re worth it and your soul will love you for it! Happy packing!
P.S. What would you pack for today?